Wine & Dine
Supporters of the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains dressed to the nines on Thursday and enjoyed an evening of fine dining while being treated to the experience of having a personal chef prepare their meal.
John and Mary Kellogg-Joslyn opened up the Titanic Museum Attraction to host the formal event, which featured 10 of the Smoky Mountain’s most prestigious chefs creating meals for more than 130 guests. Along with the first-class personal chef dining experience, participants kicked up their heals with dancing on the Titanic’s private third deck.
The participating chefs included Dave Colburn Jr. of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, Johnny DeFeo of Little Italian Kitchen, Dadang “DJ” Djajadiredja and Pamela Hempston of Walters State Community College, Paul Engle of Bullfish Grill, Ian M. Krystik of Buckberry Lodge, Karl LaPointe of Sevierville Convention Center, Deron Little of Seasons Café, Steve Molla of Park Vista Hotel, and Matt Ulichney of River Plantation Conference Center & Catering.
LaPointe, who the executive chef for Centerplate at the Sevierville Convention Center, planned a Santa-themed menu, complete with a starter of “Cookies and Milk for Santa.” The dish consisted of savory appetizers created to look like cookies and glass of white velvet soup to complete the presentation.
“We wanted to try and be whimsical,” said Mary Ellen Smith of Centerplate, “because Christmas is a whimsical time.”
LaPointe said he was pleased to participate in the fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club. “I’m just really happy to be part of this,” he said just before guests sat down at their tables.
The participating chefs decorated their tables, which were set up in different parts of the museum, from the boiler room exhibit to the first-class cabin. Some displays were moved out to make room for the tables.
“This swells my heart, the community coming together and caring,” she said as she gazed at one of the tables in the Father Brown gallery. The table’s centerpiece was a watermelon carved with the Boys & Girls Club logo.
The Joslyns said they are big supporters of the Boys & Girls Club program in Branson, Mo., and wanted to extend that support to the local organization when they moved to Pigeon Forge after opening the attraction.
As an employer, John Joslyn said he doen’t think many others realize the benefits of having an organization like Boys & Girls Club in their communities. The clubs, he said, give parents peace of mind in knowing their children have a safe place to go.
“They don’t have to worry about their kids,” he said. “It’s a safe harbor, if I can put it in ship terms.”
Mark Ross, director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, said the money raised from Thursday night’s event will be used to fund membership scholarships to disadvantaged children.